Information, Answers & Reviews

Whip It

No, this post is not an ode to Devo (though I do love that song), but rather a look at the world of roller derby. I attended my first bout the other night and had the opportunity to see Bloomington's Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls win. Afterwards, I was inspired to pick up the feature film Whip It, a look at one teen's coming of age through the roller derby.

Young Adult Fiction Debate - How Dark is Too Dark?

Part Time IndianSeveral weeks ago, a contributor for the Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled Darkness Too Visible. The author's complaint was that contemporary YA literature, aimed at the broad range of 12-18 year-olds is inappropriate for it's heavy inclusion of "explicit abuse, violence and depravity".

Then the internet blew up. Several interesting responses have come from NPR, one from pop culture expert Linda Holmes, and another interview with a YA librarian, YA authors, and the original author of the WSJ article.
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Mind over money.

Imagine that you had a group of people in a room; let's say twenty people. Then let's say that you held up a twenty dollar bill and that you were going to auction it off to the lowest bidder. Finally, you allow the participants to begin bidding. What would you expect to happen? Of course some people would bid one dollar for a twenty dollar bill. Other bids would come in as high as ten or nineteen dollars. Even at nineteen you still stand to gain a dollar if you win the bidding war. What would you say if participants bided as high as twenty-seven dollars for a twenty dollar bill? That is exactly what this documentary explores. We are used to a theory of economics that says that we all pursue our rational self-interest, but then how to do we explain the obvious irrational behavior in the experiment above? If you want to find out answer to this question then you'll want to see a new PBS documentary called, Mind Over Money.

Freedom

FreedomIf you listen to politicians and talking heads speak, you'll instantly recognize that "freedom" is a particularly powerful buzz word in American culture. Franzen achieved notoriety for a famous run-in with Oprah about his book The Corrections being included in her book club. He complained that this might scare men away from reading his book, so Oprah withdrew the nomination. In another bizarre twist, last fall a fan stole the author's eyeglasses and offered them for ransom. In this mega-novel of 562 pages, Franzen tackles the theme of what constitutes freedom in our closest relationships. He writes about a family, the Berglunds, who helped transform an old St. Paul neighborhood into a thriving community.
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Adult Summer Reading!

StretchStretch Your Mind. Stretch Your Body. Stretch Your World.

Why let the kids and teens have all the fun with summer reading programs? Read more »

Bigger, faster, stronger.

When it comes to focusing on body image and self esteem the media often discusses how this impacts women in negative ways. There's not a whole lot out there that focuses on men and their self image. Bigger, stronger, faster is a documentary that tries to do exactly that. By talking to various body builders, weight lifters and athletes we find that there exists this childhood yearning in some grown men to become the superheroes that they read about and admired when they were children. But what if those superheroes became number one by injecting themselves with anabolic steroids? If you found out that your favorite athlete was taking anabolic steroids would that change your opinion of him or her? Would you think of them as cheaters? These are some of the questions that this documentary tries to answer along with why people feel the need to alter their bodies to feel good about themselves. Check out the trailer below and if you like it, our library has two copies on dvd.

The Apostle


ImageThe Apostle is one of the first of a small genre of films that I sometimes call "Christian Films for non-Christians." I define this genre as films that are well written, well acted and well produced. They are willing to accept a PG-13, or even an R rating, but have at their base a message of faith while showing both the best and worst in people they feature. Read more »

Teen Summer Reading!

World in Your HandsIt's summer and that means Summer Reading at public libraries around the country - MCPL included! Teens in Monroe County have the opportunity to participate in The World in Your Hands, this summer's Reading Program from June 1 - August 17.
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The Fall

This visuaImagelly stunning film isn't just a pretty picture, it has an excellent story (actually there are two storylines) to go with it. Set in a Los Angeles area hospital in the 1920s The Fall stars Lee Pace (of the wonderful Pushing Daisies) as Roy, an injured stuntman who befriends Alexandria, a young girl with a broken arm. Depressed over the loss of his lover Read more »

Michael Koryta Author Event

The RidgeDon't miss your chance to see local mystery and suspense author, Michael Koryta at Barnes and Noble next week to promote his newest book - The Ridge. He will be there on Monday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. Full event details available on the Barnes and Noble website, and also from Michael's personal blog too.
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